Proposals by Hertfordshire County Council to introduce “pop up” cycle lanes and the closure of a road in Hatfield have been slammed by Local Councillors.
Making use of the controversial Emergency Active Travel Fund announced by the Transport Secretary and Welwyn Hatfield MP Grant Shapps back in May, the County Council plans to introduce segregated cycle lanes along Queensway Drive and close a key road leading to a secondary school in order to encourage cycling.
Local residents have not been consulted on the plans but Conservative County Councillor Dr Susie Gordon who has represented the area despite not living in Welwyn Hatfield – has given the scheme her blessing.
Labour deputy leader Cllr Glyn Hayes said “these plans are dangerous nonsense. They remove the main route to homes of hundreds of people and will cause chaos for pupils and parents of Onslow St Audreys. Worse still is the barrier to emergency service vehicles, should there be an emergency at school pick up/drop off time this will put local people at risk. The prospect of Government funding has led to a complete lack of common sense here.
These pupils, parents and residents deserve better than this, and I will be standing for election next year in this area to make sure they get it”
The measures will initially be temporary and subject to review after they have been implemented. Local residents will be asked to give their views but only once the changes have come into effect.
A scheme in Welwyn Garden City funded by the same project has been widely criticised by local people and politicians alike.
Councillor Kieran Thorpe who himself lives near to the area added “While these bonkers plans were being approved by a Councillor who lives no-where near Hatfield, local people were kept completely in the dark. These plans assume they will encourage cyclists to use dangerously busy roads but will drastically add schooltime traffic on an already congested main road. It’s not too late to stop this madness and spend the money sensibly elsewhere where it can make a positive difference. “
The works are scheduled to start from Monday 9th November.